Foxconn CEO Meeting with Sharp Execs on Friday; Sharp Shares Soar

By Reuters
February 05,2016
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The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, is seen on top of the company's headquarters in Tucheng, New Taipei city, in this December 24, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

TAIPEI/TOKYO (Reuters) - Foxconn Chief Executive Officer Terry Gou is in Osaka to meet executives of Japan's Sharp, a Sharp spokesman said, one day after the struggling electronics maker said it was focusing on the Taiwan firm's takeover bid over a rival offer from a Japanese state-backed fund.

Shares in Osaka-based Sharp soared 10% in early morning trade, bringing two-day gains to 29%.

Gou plans to brief the media in Osaka at  3 p.m. Japan time, the Sharp spokesman said.

Foxconn, known formally as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has offered to invest around 659 billion yen ($5.6 billion) in the struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp, people familiar with the matter said.

One person said Sharp's board had voted 13-0 to negotiate with Foxconn instead of the state-backed Japanese fund, the Innovation Network of Japan.

The people declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.

The Sharp spokesman declined to comment further. Foxconn declined to comment.

A takeover by Foxconn, which assembles various electronics products such as smartphones and television sets for Apple, Sony and many other major international companies, would vastly expand sales channels for Sharp's liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.

While a generous Foxconn offer had been flagged, many investors in Japan were surprised to see an overseas firm gain the upper hand over a state fund.

The decision comes after months of uncertainty over the fate of the company, whose display panel business has continued to suffer massive losses despite two major bailouts by its banks in the last four years.

 ($1 = 116.8500 yen)

(Reporting by J.R. Wu and Ritsuko Ando; Writing by Edwina Gibbs)